Setting Up The Sandblasting Cabinet
Setting up the sandblasting cabinet was quite easy. There are only 3 major pieces tot he cabinet: base, main shell, and lid (top). When connecting the main shell to the base we found the screw holes didn’t line up accurately. However, since the screws are self tapping screwing them down into the base was easily accomplished with a screwdriver.
Adding the weather stripping seal into the top of the cabinet is easy; however, there is a little trick that will make it easier to keep in straight and allow you to position it in the bottom of the trough. Use your thumb and forefinger to pinch the sides of the weather stripping tape together with the sticky side down. Then, use your forefinger of the other hand to press the tape down into the bottom of the trough. Make sure that the tape is evenly distributed around the cabinet top so that it will form a tight seal while you are using the sandblaster. This is also a good time to attach the protective gloves to the lid using the large hose clamps provided in the kit.
Place the lid on the main shell and insert the hinge bolts. Pressing the hinge bolts into the holes while lining up the holes of the shell and lid may require a few extra hands. We used a small wood clamp to hold the pieces together while pressing the bolts into place. We eventually change the slip bolts for carriage bolts to make it easier to dis-assemble the cabinet when we go to shows and field events.
We connected our shop-vac to the 2-1/2″ port provided on the back of the cabinet to draw off the extra dust created during sandblasting. We initially tried sandblasting without the vacuum, but after a few minutes the visibility within the cabinet was reduced greatly. Also, when the cabinet was opened after sandblasting a lot of sand dust escaped the cabinet. For the typical use of the cabinet a basic shop-vac from your local hardware store is more than adequate for the task. Just remember to clean the shop-vac regularly.
We choose the SCM Jetstream One sandblasting system for its compact size, versatility, and SCM’s support. We toyed with the idea of buying the basic components from Harbor Freight; however, once we priced out the equivalent items plus sources for spare parts we found that it would have cost more to source everything separately. Additionally, with the Jetstream One system we are able to easily break it down into a box to transport it to shows and field events. Additionally, the package included the photo masking system that we use for much of our stock carving and gift engraving over at our Carvings In The Making web site.
Unpacking Our New Jetstream One
As soon as the shipment arrived, everyone stopped work and crowded around the loading dock. To our amazement, everything arrived in two boxes. The air compressor had arrived a few days earlier in a separate shipment. We knew the system was much more compact than other systems we reviewed; however, we were amazed at how easily it was broken down into its basic components. This immediately started everyone talking about how we could take it to shows and field events without taking up much room in the RV. Before un-packing everything we took the whole shipment outback to the RV and found that it fit nicely into the lower rear storage compartment with the air compressor included. We immediately knew that we had made the right decision to purchase this system as it fit into our plans perfectly. Space in our shop is very limited so anything new has to be able to slide in without disrupting our current equipment. Eventually we will be forced into moving to a bigger shop, but for now this is what we have. The Jetstream One system will also fit into our show booth without having to do too much re-arranging.
As we unpacked and inventoried each item we became more anxious to try it out. The setup instructions are fairly intuitive; however, you do have to do a little head scratching and figuring things out occasionally. The one thing you have to remember is that some items shipped with the system have been improved, but the instruction sheets have not been fully updated. Just take your time while putting everything together and enjoy the anticipation of your new system.
Connecting The Air Lines
When connecting the air-line from the compressor to the pressure pot we opted to add a 1/4″ NPT M-F ball valve to cut-off the air from the compressor when we’re not sandblasting. We found this valve at Harbor Freight. It can also be found at most hardware stores such as ACE hardware also. Make sure you use Teflon tape on all of the screw-on fittings in your air line. The tape will ensure a tight and no-leak connection.
Connecting the blue air line from the regulator to the pressure port was quite easy. Just slide the line into the fitting until you feel a small snap. Tug on it slightly to ensure that it is fitting snugly. If you need to remove the air line just press inward on the black ring with one hand while gently pulling the air line out with the other hand.
Since space is quite limited we needed a longer air line from the regulator to the pressure pot in order to mount the assembly on the wall instead of using the table stand that is provided. We removed the air line connectors provided with the system and substituted 1/4″ NTP air line connectors and added a longer 1/4″ I.D. pressure rated hose. This change only took 5 minutes to complete and gave us greater flexibility in placing the equipment in its permanent location.
When disassembling an old weapon of any type great care must be taken so as not to break any of the parts. In many cases, parts for older weapons are brittle and not easy to find. Many gunsmiths will spend a lot of time researching the Internet for old part sources. Parts for newer mode weapons are easy to find by simply calling the manufacturer. In the case of this Harrington & Richardson BayState circa 1900 single barrel shotgun the original H & R company is no longer in existence. Therefore, you must be creative to find a reliable parts source.
Sometimes, parts from a more recent model weapon are interchangeable with little or no modification. In this case I was able to find the Frame Pivot pin from an newer model 148 and grind the head down to make it fit flush with the Receiver.
A close inspection showed extensive rust underling the bluing; especially around the edges of the fore stock. A file metal file had to be used to remove the rust around the forestock. Emery cloth in grits of 80, 120, and 240 were progressively used to remove the bluing and rust pitting. It was followed with a 500 grit to bring the metal up to a fine polish. Typically, a fine polish is not needed before re-bluing, but I wanted to ensure that all of the very small and very deep rust pits were completely removed. As you can see in the picture to the right, a lot of long hours in sanding and polishing resulted uncovering a magnificent old shotgun.
In addition to the workbench the shop needs compressed air with various regulators for different tools that require different pressure levels, air scrubber to capture dust and various types of airborne particles, shop vacuum, bench vise, drill press, a hefty assortment of tools, and a shop sink.
Additionally, safety first is the rule in any workshop. You’ll need a breathing mask, safety glasses, disposable gloves, and an emergency power cutoff. Also, the shop sink can be used in case you get saw dust, dirt, or chemicals on your skin plus it can be used as an eye-wash station should you accidentally get anything in your eyes. Remember to keep a phone nearby in case you need to call for emergency services should you have an accident and need a paramedic.
Keep in mind that you need to keep your workplace clean and orderly, therefore, you should cleanup your mess as you go. Otherwise, you’ll find that some of the smallest parts that you’ve set aside for cleaning and reassembly have disappeared in the rubble.
Lastly, a workshop is no place for small children. It is full of hazards, therefore, children should be kept at a distance and under constant supervision until they are of an age where they can be taught the proper safety measures and proper usage of its tools. My uncle first introduced me to his gunsmith shop when I was 7 years old and I spent may hours and years learning the craft at his side.
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Over the years, as a gunsmith, I’ve acquired and inherited numerous old guns and have just placed them in the back of the gun safe thinking that someday I’ll get around to cleaning them up or restoring them. Being a gunsmith is like any other profession where the customer’s job comes first and those old guns just accumulated over the years.
I’m an old school gunsmith. I grew up working on guns with my uncle who loved the Colonial and Revolutionary period. As a result I learned the art & craft of the gunsmith over the modern day production line gunsmith. I love to watch the YouTube videos of gunsmiths that really get down and dirty, right into the heart of a gun to fix those really tough problems. These folks are not the big box store variety gunsmith. They are the true craftsmen of the profession.
A few months ago when I discovered that I didn’t have any more room for more old guns I decided to clean out the old gun safe and get rid of those guns that I really didn’t need. Of course, my wife was really happy at the prospect of reclaiming some storage space. However, as with any gunsmith, looking at those old guns recalls a history and a story that just shouldn’t be destroyed.
I chose an H&R 1901 BayState single barrel 12 gauge shotgun as my first restoration project. This shotgun came to me 10 years ago with the passing of a family member. The condition of the shotgun was quite pitiful to say the lease.
The receiver pivot pin is missing, all of the metal parts are severely rusted and corroded from long use without cleaning, the bore of the barrel is pitted and rusted, the firing pin is cracked, and the stock is split in so many places a metal band had been fabricated to hold it together at the grip.
Check back often as I will be posting the step-by-step restoration of this wonderfully old shotgun.
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From: gregg [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:29 PM
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Subject: Colorado legislature anti-gun laws
Dear Colorado Legislators,
After reading your new proposed anti-gun laws I felt compelled to send you my views on the matter. I admit that I’m a small business owner and employ less than 10 people; however, I still have a voice.
My wife and I have two sons and their families that live in Colorado and they have been trying to convince us to move our business there. We have many customers from Colorado for our stock customizations that it made a lot of business sense to relocate from Texas in order to be closer to most of our customers and family. We had also anticipated expanding our business once we relocated to Colorado and have just started to put our services on-line to attract more customers.
We have visited the Estes Park area numerous times in preparation for purchasing land and have been pursuing establishing our business there.
These laws, in my opinion are totally miss-guided, simply window dressing, delusional on the part of legislators, and do nothing to remove the guns from the hands of criminals who already have the weapons and does nothing to prevent mentally disturbed individuals from obtaining and using weapons of any kind.
How many more children have to die before you pursue the criminals and mentally disturbed individuals more aggressively?
When will you pass laws that force criminals to turn in their weapons instead of criminalizing law abiding citizens? Yes, forcing criminals to turn in their guns sounds like a joke; however, your track record in reducing criminal usage of guns is miserable.
Even if you do not pass the current proposed anti-gun legislation we feel the Colorado legislature has demonstrated its intent and position, therefore, we believe that it will continue to pursue miss-guided and delusional laws of this nature in the future.
With the news of the Colorado legislature bringing these anti-gun laws into act we now believe that the attitude of the Colorado legislature toward the 2nd Amendment and the lawful rights of gun owners is such that we cannot continue the process of relocating our business there.
Therefore, we are abandoning our efforts to relocate and expand our business in Colorado. We have been discussing these issues with many Outfitters in other states explaining that we will not be able to support them in Colorado as previously planned plus we will be presenting our views to other gunsmith business owners when we meet later this year.
G & M GunSmiths